If the first question you ask a breeder is "How much do you charge for your puppies?" then you need to take a longer term view. The quick and accurate answer is "A lot less than the puppy will cost you to keep and look after for the rest of its life". Responsible owners will want to ensure that their puppy is properly cared for throughout its life. For a Labrador that could easily be a commitment of twelve years or more.

Lifetime costs for an average Labrador

The table below is a conservative estimate of the lifetime costs of owning an average Labrador that lives for twelve years, based on the costs in 2008. Every dog is different, and some people may be lucky enough to go without any accidents or illnesses whilst others are less fortunate.

Initial vaccinations60.00
Annual boosters x 12360.00
Tri-annual worming x 36324.00
Flea treatments x 72360.00
Kenneling @ 10 a day840.00
Kennel cough vaccinations x 12360.00
Dog food & treats2,000.00
Insurance x 121,200.00
Vets fees (excesses)1,000.00
Dog beds, dog guards, toys, etc600.00
Dog crate40.00
Transfer of ownership fee12.00

This translates to over 600 a year, which puts the purchase price into perspective.